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Whole-Person Holiness through Physical Fitness

Published Date: March 25, 2014

Sherman-Thomas Student Center renovations encourage holistic health and wellness at Asbury Theological Seminary

Asbury Seminary recognizes the important role physical fitness plays in ministry and personal holiness. Although the Sherman-Thomas Student Center has played host to a wide variety of sporting events, fitness classes, and recreational activities, its focus and main directive has always been to encourage the physical well-being of our students. In an effort to adapt to and meet the needs of our students, the fitness facility has undergone a tremendous amount of change over the years. As a matter of fact, during alumni visits, tour guides will often hear a returning Asburian say, “The cardio room used to be here” or, “We used to have a couple weight benches where that office is now” or even, “I used to swim where this floor is now!”

In 2010, the Lord placed a desire in the hearts of key seminary staff members to encourage whole-person holiness through a re-commitment to physical fitness. As a result, Enrollment Management and Student Services staff began maximizing opportunities for exercise and wellness education within the Sherman-Thomas Student Center. Excited by the resources at their disposal, small but effective changes were made to the functionality and use of the space provided within the fitness facility. With a marked increase in the number of individuals attending group fitness classes and utilizing the cardiovascular exercise equipment, the decision was made to undertake the Student Center’s first major renovation through the construction of the group fitness studio and cardiovascular training room.

To accommodate this addition, the top-most section of the gymnasium’s bleachers was removed Group Fitness Roomand transformed into two separate exercise areas. The group fitness studio now provides ample space and resources for a wide variety of fitness classes to take place, while the cardiovascular training room is supplied with state-of-the-art exercise equipment and serves as a Partner Health Club within the Humana Vitality Program. Both rooms received Cardio Roomstate-of-the-art flooring, wall-mounted fans, and aerobics mirrors. These modifications have helped to create a fitness club environment students truly enjoy using!

Lisa Myers, Student Center Manager says, “With the addition of the fitness studio, we have dramatically increased the amount of fitness classes offered. At one time, we were only able to offer three classes a week and limited the number of participants because we were in such a small space. Now, with the larger room accommodating a higher capacity of participants, we have seen impressive growth in the participation of classes. The environment is more comfortable and easier to access. We now offer seventeen classes in a single week with an average of one-hundred participants!”

Deep End (1)Shortly after the first stage of renovations concluded, Student Services began their next major project: a complete renovation of the weight room located in the lower-level of the Student Center. What was once known as ‘the Deep End’ now hosts brand new top-of-the-line commercial equipment including Nautilus EVO® Strength Training Machines, Free Weight benches, and cable machines. Since the renovation’s completion, there have been significant increases in the number of participants utilizing the facility. This specialized fitness facility now offers another key component in the pursuit of holistic health.

Oftentimes, seminary students invest a great deal of resources preparing and engaging their hearts, minds, and souls for ministry only to neglect their bodies; but the Lord has called us to invest in our physical fitness as well. With a student’s theological understanding and biblical foundation at the heart of everything we do, physical fitness has the propensity to drastically impact personal holiness and, consequently, life after seminary. The Office of Student Services is excited about the investment Asbury Seminary has made toward health and wellness for our students through the continued improvement of the Sherman-Thomas Student Center and its services!

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0 responses to “Whole-Person Holiness through Physical Fitness”

  1. john woodruff says:

    Would visiting alumni be able to use the facilities, availability permitting?

  2. Scott Haire says:

    So glad to hear about this! I started lifting there, even BEFORE the Deep End was converted, back in ’94, and was lifting there and at The Luce until I graduated in ’98. Then again, from ’05 through ’10 or so, I was a regular there. Imagine my joy to have lifted there last month! Sweet!
    Proud of your commitment to the Whole person. Way to go,
    Scotty Haire

  3. Judith says:

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  4. Thank for information!

    I agree with your article.

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